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By John Geddie and Anshuman Daga

SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) – Singapore state investor
Temasek Holdings has joined the Facebook-backed
Libra digital currency project which has faced intense scrutiny
from global regulators worried its launch could erode national
control over money.

The entry of Temasek, which latest figures show has a
portfolio value of just over S$300 billion ($210 billion), was
announced by the Switzerland-based Libra Association, the entity
managing the digital currency project, late Thursday.

Temasek becomes one the project’s most prominent backers
after payments giants Mastercard, Visa Inc and
PayPal earlier ditched the scheme.

Libra, which also added cryptocurrency investor Paradigm and
private equity firm Slow Ventures to its roster, said Temasek
offered a “differentiated position” as an Asia-focused investor.

In a separate statement, deputy CEO of Temasek
International, Chia Song Hwee, said: “Blockchain technology can
play a transformative role in payments networks by enhancing
cost efficiencies, creating new business opportunities and
accelerating financial inclusion.”

“Our participation in the Libra Association as a member will
allow us to contribute towards a regulated global network for
cost effective retail payments,” he said.

The prospect of Facebook’s 2.5 billion users adopting Libra
has led to intense scrutiny from global regulators.

In April, Libra’s governing body said the planned digital
currency will be linked to individual national currencies and
overseen by global watchdogs, in a scaled-back revamp it hopes
will win regulatory approval.

Libra is now expected to be launched between mid-November
and the end of the year, later than initial plans for a launch
by the end of June.

Earlier this month, Libra appointed HSBC legal chief Stuart
Levey as its CEO.
($1 = 1.4236 Singapore dollars)
(Reporting by John Geddie and Anshuman Daga; Editing by Himani